Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Landmark)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Victoria Connelly on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter
Excerpt from Dreaming of Mr. Darcy
Shy, brilliant screenwriter and producer Adam Craig throws himself into work to forget about his broken heart. And Jane Austen addict Kay Ashton purchased a B & B in the seaside town of Lyme so she'd have a peaceful place to finish her book, The Illustrated Mr. Darcy. Neither is looking for romance. Until they meet - and Kay tries to set Adam up with another woman.
All the sparkling drama of Jane Austen's Persuasion comes to life as old Lyme Regis becomes the site of the new big-screen adaptation of the classic. Kay attracts the attention of handsome actor Oli Wade Owen, Adam struggles to know the secrets of his own heart, and life in quiet Lyme gets very interesting indeed...
Victoria Connelly once again brings Jane Austen lovers a book that will far exceed their expectations. Dreaming of Mr. Darcy is the second in a trilogy of books about Jane Austen addicts and Connelly excels at bringing Austen's themes and ideas to life. This novel has hints of two Austen classics within it's pages. The theme is somewhat reminiscent of Emma, while Persuasion seems to be the novel most talked about. Connelly easily brings the places and settings of Austen's books to life.
Dreaming of Mr. Darcy nor the first book in the trilogy, A Weekend with Mr. Darcy are what I would call strictly "Jane Austen fiction." I reserve that for novels that actually use Austen's characters. That kind of book is usually a prequel or sequel to one of Austen's classics. This book is more of what I would term "Austen inspired fiction." Meaning that the author doesn't necessarily use Austen's characters but more of the themes of her work. Telling one of Austen's stories but in a different and unique way, usually with new characters and situations.
Connelly however takes it a step further for Austen fans and uses some of the most popular English settings that Austen used in her titles. In Dreaming of Mr. Darcy, Connelly takes readers to Lyme-Regis the famous setting of Austen's novel, Perusasion. This is a seaside town with tons of charm and atmosphere. Connelly's descriptions of it, really come to life for the reader. She describes the countryside, as well as, the shops and businesses with such fervor, readers will be enthralled with this little town.
I liked the fact that the author uses a lot of references to Austen's work in her novels. The book that the main character is writing is an homage to Mr. Darcy. The film crew that takes over the town is filming and updated version of Persuasion and there are constantly mentions of Austen's characters or titles. I thought Connelly did an excellent job of interspersing all of Austen related details. The book wasn't overwhelmed by them, it just added to the ambiance.
I have to admit I wasn't the biggest fan of the main character in this one. Kay is a very over the top Austen fan, which is fine. She's a writer, which is great. She owns a B & B and is a hopeless romantic. All great features for a character but she was a bit on the slow side, romantically speaking. I was totally surprised that she took up with Oli, when Adam was right there. I know, I know, it wouldn't have been a very good story if she fell for the right guy from the beginning, but it seemed like it took her for-ever to figure out she was trying to set up the man of her dreams with another woman. It was just a bit frustrating LOL! Extremely well written but frustrating...
I loved Adam though. A very unassuming man, who is about to see one of his biggest dreams realized. He is writing the script for a re-make of Austen's Persuasion and he should be on top of the world. What he doesn't realize is that another huge thing is happening to him as well. He's falling in love again. He was hurt badly in a previous relationship and you would think he would be holding back, but it's obvious that Kay is the one. I just love Adam he was so honest and forthright in his opinions and feelings. He was a great character.
Connelly used the theme from Emma to write a fantastic book that holds true to Austen's classic style and ideas. I think readers will appreciate the fact that Connelly is a huge fan of Austen or wouldn't have been able to write this book so accurately portraying Emma's characters in an original tale. This book will appeal to Austen fans and fans of Austen fiction (both kinds). I liked it a lot and I think you will too, especially if you enjoy British Lit and stories that take place in the environs of Austen's own characters.
Dreaming of Mr. Darcy is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Victoria Connelly was brought up in Norfolk and studied English literature at Worcester University before becoming a teacher in North Yorkshire. After getting married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales, she moved to London, where she lives with her artist husband and a mad Springer Spaniel.
She has three novels published in Germany, and the first, Flights of Angels, was into a film. Victoria and her husband flew out to Berlin to see it being filmed and got to be extras in it. Her first novel in the UK, Molly's Millions, is a romantic comedy about a lottery winner who gives it all away.
Dreaming of Mr. Darcy is second in a trilogy about Jane Austen addicts, which is a wonderful excuse to read all the books and watch all the gorgeous film and TV adaptations again. First in the trilogy is A Weekend with Mr. Darcy.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Dreaming of Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly.
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~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST February 6th.
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